The UK government will unveil new legislation to deal to with the growth in mobile phone theft. The Bill, which is due to be published in the House of Lords, will make it illegal to reprogram handsets.
The Mobile Phone (Reprogramming) Bill will make it a criminal offence to reprogram a stolen handset by changing the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Anyone found guilty of the offence could receive a jail sentence.
Many in the industry have called for this law. The first step to cutting the number of mobile thieves was taken in February, when the UK’s five largest operators agreed to exchange lists of handset identity numbers. Last year, 700,000 handsets were stolen.